The Judges' Video

Speaking about the initiative behind the award, Rob Rees, Divisional Director of Markel Direct said: “The UK is currently facing a massive skills shortage within the trades sector, both caused by an aging workforce and a limited number of people entering apprenticeship schemes. Markel decided to run this competition to give something back, and to encourage people into apprenticeships and we want people to pick up the tools and become part of this great industry.”

The judging panel was made up of three judges, Rob Rees – Divisional Director of Markel Direct, Louis Timpany – Founder & CEO of Fix Radio and James Wilson – Marketing Manager at Festool.

All working within the trades and construction space, the three judges between them hold a wealth of experience and knowledge in what it takes to carve out a successful career. 

The judges spoke about the “impossible task” of deciding the three finalists, and the “quality of submissions” received, with “lots of representation from across the industry”. The task of picking the finalists was a challenge for the judges; Louis Timpany, Founder & CEO of Fix Radio said: “by the end of it, there were three absolute clear winners” with James Wilson, Marketing Manager at Festool adding: “from our three winners, what I was really looking for was their passion, their commitment to their profession and their potential to develop further.”

Rob Rees, Divisional Director of Markel Direct, commented: “It is no secret the important role that apprentices will play in the future of the trades and construction industry, and our three winners are a clear example of how attitude and hard graft can get you a long way. To be recognised for this award is a great achievement for Lily, Alfie and Dakota, and I want to congratulate them all on their success.”